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11. FREE WILL Previous | Next

Your decisions are not your own

EVERY day, we live under the spell of an illusion: that our conscious mind is autonomous, and in control of our bodies and decisions. We think we have free will, yet as neuroscience digs ever deeper into the mystery of the human brain, that delusion becomes harder to justify. We are, as one neuroscientist told me as he used a powerful magnet to take control of my body’s movements, brain-machines.

This runs contrary to our every impulse. Our gut instinct, our experience, is that we make the decisions to move, to think, to eat, to steal, to lie, to punch and kick. We have constructed the entire edifice of our civilisation on this idea. Is science wrong when it says free will is a delusion? If not, what does it mean for our sense of self? And for our morality – can we prosecute people for acts over which they had no conscious control?

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Location:Yuma
Joined:10/08/2008
Posts:5

#1 - Posted: 10/08/2008 05:33

Here I go - just my life based opinion of course,

God - producer

Jesus - Director

Us - Actors

Bible - Script

God's want? A good review for parts played.The Glory returned

So any flexing of our will away from attaining knowledge of our part = God's will for us; is a virtual stumbling block in the big plan. One day it all snapped into place. Not pressing spirituality but I sure drove my free will into the wind in the opposite direction I now flow simply with. My misguided, unfocused free will breaks sync with things. Directing my free will to attain God's takes more work than any mental process I ever attempted. Its edgy stuff more real than the craziest sci-fi book or movie I have taken in - and I looked long for that non-spiritual method.

Pheewww

 

I'm still thinking on it! - Snake Pliskin

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Location:Atlanta
Joined:12/08/2008
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#2 - Posted: 12/08/2008 08:27

I have read the replies to this puzzle:  #11 - Free Will and I have a different view.

1st, I don't believe in God.  so get out your red-pens now, before you venture further.  I am not against the IDEA of a God, I just want God not to be so rediculously porous, and transparant.  deities should be held to a higher standard.

 

I believe in PEOPLE.  I believe that each and every one of us hold the fate of our future and our world in our own collective hands.  You cannot say that each of us is "Born with" an innate sense of right and wrong.  That is simply rediculous.  You model what you know, so if in YOUR world, you kill other men, women and children to simply survive, and only the most brutal and vicious in such a society are held in high regard, then you will BELIEVE that you are in the RIGHT if you are held in high regard in such a society.  You will feel as if you are, in fact 'Good'.

Secondly, this whole free will deal proposed by the word of God  {The Bible} as the greatest gift to our species...please.  God knows how everything will turn out, so no matter what you CHOOSE to do, he has already foreseen what you decided.  Hmmmm, sounds a bit like FATE to me, and not so much like "Free Will".  I say we all drink some toxic coolaid in rebellion and end the game.  Would God foresee that?  What would he do if no humans remained to play out the stories in the Bible?  Would he punish us for not sticking to "our lines" as actors upon his stage?

 

I wonder...

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Location:South East, USA
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#3 - Posted: 19/08/2008 14:01

Prometheus,

     Just because God knows what you will do does not mean God made you do it. As you point out yourself “he has already foreseen what you decided.” And that is absolutely correct. We decide it. So is it fate? If it is, then it is of our own choosing. You said so yourself. What a wonderful thing it is to know that we have the power to determine what God knows about our future. As far as your “coolaid”, it is your idea so you take the first sip. And, yes, God would have foreseen that choice. Instead, he has foreseen that you didn’t have the guts to make the choice to follow through on an idle threat.

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Location:Michigan
Joined:25/10/2008
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#4 - Posted: 25/10/2008 15:57

I think, therefore, I am!

Further, I can think "outside the box", therefore, I have free will or whatever you wish to call that which God has given mankind.  I am more than an assemblage of atoms, molecules and biological systems and processes.  I am more than the sum of my parts and processes.  I am synergy!

Perhaps dolphins, chimps and parrots  can claim some higher thought processes, too, but nothing beyond their craniums (box).  For them survival depends on fast reaction to stimulus.  Research neurologists are detecting nothing more than this remnant of our animal heritage.   In their world, a 10 second lag between stimuli receipt and response would be fatal.  It is often the same in our "world" when we fail to exercise good jugement.

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